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Setting Wood Fence Posts

Objective:  By mastering this lesson, you will be able to set wood fence posts so that the fence is both pleasing to the eye and functional for the customer.

Equipment:  String line, level, post hole digger, stakes, hammer, sludge hammer, marking paint, marker or crayon, 20’+ tape measure, 200’+ tape measure, shovel, spade, ladder, wheel barrow, little beaver (auger, torque bar, gas & oil), and skidsteer (auger, digger head, auger & bucket).  

Key Question:  What is unique to setting wood posts? 

After thoroughly covering the installation of setting chain link post; this section will only focus on the unique installation techniques required to set wood, ornamental and vinyl posts.  Many of the common installation steps required to set chain link fencing apply to all varieties of fence.

 

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What is unique to setting wood posts?  


Post height, post spacing and hole diameter are unique to wood fencing.

Post heights for wood fencing will vary depending on the type of fence.  However, regardless if the post is a line, end, corner or gate; all the posts are set at the same height.

Below are the various heights for the respective styles of wood fencing.

Fence Height               Style                                                             Post height above grade

6’                                 Board On Board                                             69”

6’                                 Solid                                                                69”

6’                                 Overscallop                                                     64” @ bottom of gothic cap

6’                                 Underscallop                                                   73” @ bottom of gothic top

4’                                 Picket                                                              45”

4’                                 Solid                                                                45”

4’                                 Board On Board                                             45”

4’                                 Underscallop                                                   49” @ bottom of gothic cap

4’                                 Overscallop                                                     40” @ bottom of gothic cap

What is unique to the hole diameter? 

 Wood posts are generally 4” square.  However, the cross section is almost 6” for a 4” square post.  So, be careful to not undersize your hole diameter.  Typically, a 10” diameter hole is required to set 4” square posts.

What is unique about posts spacing? 

setting-wood-posts-2.gifAlmost all wood fences use 2” x 4” x 8’ rails to span between the posts.  In consideration of grade changes and slopes, you will want to set your posts @ 7’ 10”.  This will allow some room to assure that your rails will always span between the posts.  Occasionally, you may have to use a 2” x 4” x 10’ rail because your post spacing varied to miss a utility line, etc.  However, 2” x 4” x 10’ are generally more expensive and may not be available when you build your fence.

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© 2018 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.

© 2018 The American Fence Company. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial use, copying or distribution is prohibited without express written permission from The American Fence Company.